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Cleveland Museum of Art Returns Monkey god statue of Hanuman to Cambodia

Updated on May 12, 2015

Hindu god Hanuman

Hindu monkey god Hanuman
Hindu monkey god Hanuman | Source

The Cleveland Museum of Art is Tired of Making Money off of a Hindu Monkey god

The Cleveland Museum of Art is sending the Hindu god Hanuman back to Cambodia on Tuesday May 12, 2015. This god is made out of stone, with a monkey's head and tail, but the body is of a man. (The introductory story of Hanuman is shared below in this article).

How did the Cleveland Museum of Art acquire the Hindu god Hanuman?

Back in 1982, the museum acquired this piece from an art dealer in the state of New York. It has been noted that this particular dealer has since died. Research done by the museum found that this statue they had went on sale previously in Thailand, back in 1968 and 1972, and somehow found its way to the U.S.

Interestingly enough, five other ancient statues taken from this same region (northern Koh Ker) have also been returned to Cambodia from the U.S.

Is there any reason why the Cleveland Museum of Art is returning the statue?

The museum has not given a reason for returning the Hindu god back to Cambodia, and it is unknown if there were any pressures from any groups or the Cambodian government. It could very well be a goodwill gesture from the Cleveland Museum of Art toward the country of Cambodia in light of the five other statues that have also been returned.

The only thing we know is that the deal is set in stone, literally.

Interesting Fact: god Hanuman Banned from Nandur Nimba Daitya village

In the country of India, in the village of Nandur Nimba Daitya, they worship the daitya (the devil). According to Zee News (an Indian channel on YouTube), the deity (devil) that presides over this town, has banned "Lord Hanuman" from this village.

Ceremony Held to Commemorate the Hand off

A ceremony was held to commemorate the handing off of the Hindu god Hanuman to Cambodia. It was attended by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, among other minister from Cambodia. Both dancers and officials alike hung flowers around the neck of the statue at the ceremony, essentially worshiping the idol.

The Murti of Hanuman and his mother, Anjana

This picture is of a human embodiment of Hanuman being held by his mother. Displayed at the Anjani Mata temple.
This picture is of a human embodiment of Hanuman being held by his mother. Displayed at the Anjani Mata temple. | Source

Hanuman Reaching for the Sun

Hanuman the monkey child, mistaking the sun for a mango
Hanuman the monkey child, mistaking the sun for a mango | Source

Story: Hanuman Chased the Sun to Eat it

As the story goes, when Hanuman was a child, he thought the sun was a mango fruit. He chased it, in an attempt to eat it, but entered into a conflict with a Vedic planet named Rahu that was also pursuing the sun -- for it was the scheduled time for an eclipse. Hanuman and Rahu clashed in their struggle to subdue the sun. In their clash, Hanuman struck Rahu, and again attempted to eat the sun, thinking it was a mango.

Rahu, furious, went to the king of the devas, Indra, explaining that this monkey child prevented the eclipse from occurring. Indra empathized with Rahu, and sent a lighting bolt at Hanuman, the monkey child. Hanuman was struck on his jaw in space, and his body went hurdling back down to the Earth.

Parting Facts about the Hindu god Hanuman

According to Wikipedia, Hanuman has a quite a historical presence in the Indian epic Ramayana, where he fought against a demon king, named Ravana.

More Facts about Hanuman:

  • Some Hindu texts even present Hanuman as an incarnation (avatar) of Lord Shiva by the 10th Century.
  • The name - Hanuman - is derived from a proto-Dravidian word that means "male monkey," and Hanuman originates from a proto-Dravidian deity
  • There are five different claims or theories about the actual birthplace of Hanuman - all can be read on the Wikipedia page

A Hindu finds Jesus Christ

A Note from the Author

This Hub author wishes you many greetings and thanks for reading this article. If you are from India, then I wish you namaste.

I found the history about the Hindu god Hanuman to be interesting and therefore wanted to share my findings with you -- the reader. However, I am a Christian, and do not advocate the worship of Hanuman, the Hindu god, or any other god or idol created by man. Idols are man's vain attempt to limit the power of the real God, by creating a false god that we think we can control. The first of the 10 Commandments is: "You shall have no other god before me."

A Bible passage I would like to share is 1 Corinthians 8:6 (NLT), which says:

"But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for Him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life."

There is one true living God and he gives life, and has the power to change your life. Cast away any idols from your life, and seek out Jesus Christ.

© 2015 zeke2100


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